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How to Control iPad with iPhone

Author: Natalie Paraskeva
Natalie Paraskeva Article author

To remote control iPad from iPhone without directly touching it, you can use the Switch Control or Universal Control features. Both methods have similar restrictions – the devices have to be signed into the same iCloud account, and they have to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Also, the device will have to be close by if you want to see what you’re doing. Still, this type of restricted remote control can have its uses.

Is there a way to remotely control an iPad using an iPhone?

Gaining full remote access to an iPad, especially via the internet, faces significant restrictions. This is crucial to understand when exploring remote iPad control. Apple’s robust privacy and security measures limit such capabilities. However, you can still achieve limited control over the same Wi-Fi network. 

Remote access is practical when using an iPad at a distance, like from across the room. You can control it with just a few taps on your iPhone, eliminating the need to physically interact with the iPad. Features like Switch Control or Universal Control, while not allowing screen viewing on your iPhone, enable you to perform actions on the iPad remotely, effectively turning your iPhone into a remote control for the iPad.

Option 1: Control Nearby Devices Feature

The simplest way to do this is Control Nearby Devices. It’s found in Settings, under the Accessibility category. When activated, this option lets you choose a nearby Apple device (in our case, it’s to control iPad with iPhone) and provides a small set of simple controls for it. You can’t open apps or interact with the screen of the controlled device, only go to the Home screen, open the App Switcher, go to the Control or Notification Center, or control media playback by adjusting volume, switching to the next/previous item in the playlist, or pausing. It’s worth mentioning that App Switcher and others can only be opened, not used.

Other than the obvious uses – like playing media on your iPad and using the iPhone as a remote – Control Nearby Devices can also be used to silence an alarm clock or exit an app by going to the home screen.

To remotely control iPad from iPhone, here are the steps you can follow:
  1. Sign both the iPhone and the iPad into the same iCloud account.

  2. Connect both devices to the same network, enable iCloud, and turn on Bluetooth.

  3. Open Settings > Accessibility > Control Nearby Devices.

    How to control iPad with iPhone remotely

  4. Select your iPad from the list of nearby devices.

  5. Use the provided buttons to control the iPad.

Note:  If you’re in need of a way to manage your Mac or Windows PC remotely from another computer, HelpWire offers a free remote access software solution you might consider.

Option 2: Switch Control

Controlling an iPad with Switches gives you more control than the previous option, but it’s also clunkier at the same time. Switches are an accessibility option that’s intended for people that need to use an iPhone with physical buttons. First you choose an on-screen interface element, then an interaction option from a menu. 

Unlike Control Nearby Devices, Switches are nearly unusable if you don’t see the screen – no shortcuts here. It’s a decent option if you prefer using key-based controls, or maybe if the touchscreen is broken and you urgently need to do something on the device.

To access your iPad remotely from your iPhone using Switch Control, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Make sure that both devices involved in the remote access session are signed into the same Apple ID and connected to the same WiFi network.

  2. Go to Accessibility > Switch Control and set up some switches to navigate the screen – you’ll probably want Next Item, Previous Item and Select.

    How to control iPad with iPhone remotely

  3. Exit to the home screen. Open the context menu by holding Select.

    Switch Control to remote access iPad from iPhone

  4. Pick Device > Use Other Device, and choose the iPad from the list.

  5. You can stop controlling the iPad the same way – choose the “Stop Using Device” option in the Select menu.

Remote Control Troubleshooting Guide

When attempting to remotely control your iPad using your iPhone, you might encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips to help you resolve them:
  • Device not detected:
    Ensure both devices are signed into the same Apple ID and connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Restart both devices if they still don't recognize each other.
  • Connectivity issues:
    Check your Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth settings. Both need to be turned on and functioning correctly for remote control to work. If you're experiencing Wi-Fi issues, try resetting your router.
  • Switch Control difficulties:
    Setting up Switch Control can be complex. Double-check your switch settings in the Accessibility menu and make sure they are configured correctly for your needs.
  • Delayed response:

    Some lag between your actions on the iPhone and the response on the iPad is normal, especially on older devices or slower networks. Be patient and allow a few seconds for the command to register.


Knowing how to control iPad from iPhone can be useful in some situations, even if the usefulness is limited by Apple’s strict rules. Maybe an old iPad can be turned into a remote-controlled media center, or connected to other gadgets that you want to access over WiFi.  Will you discover the next cool way to apply Nearby Device control and Switches?